Tomorrow I leave for Japan! I am ridiculously excited to say the least. Before I take off, I thought would give a quick background of how this trip came to be, and what it is going to be all about. In the summer of 2011 I took a chasing and repoussé class with Hiroko Yamada and Richard Elaver. 

Hiroko is originally from Japan, but now lives in Madison, WI where she owns and operates HYART Gallery. Her reputation preceded her as an amazing metalsmith with the ability to masterfully take on any metal or technique and she did not disappoint. In the class I found myself completely dumbfounded at some of the objects that she had made. The precise hand skills she possessed to complete such minuscule masterpieces was totally inspiring.

We worked hard, accomplished a lot, and overall had a wonderful class with Hiroko. I learned a tremendous amount in the class and set me in the direction I am headed today with my engraving techniques. Not long after that class, Hiroko suggested that Jack Mauch and I (a fellow classmate and core student) join her sometime when she was traveling in Japan. She said that if we ever wanted to go, we should let her know.  

So here we are, almost two years later ready to go! Jack and I will meet Hiroko in Japan to spend two weeks traveling with her to museums, artists' studios, and universities on a very geeky, craft-centric agenda. Just a few of the places we will visit include Kumamoto for higo zogan inlay, Nagano for shinshu forged blades, Nigata for copper ware, and Oita for bamboo basketry. I am bringing a small sampling of my own work to share with the artists we meet. Instead of bringing business cards, I had some postcards printed that have my name in English and Japanese kanji characters.  I don't think I will be able to post while I am away, but check back for a big update upon my return.